I don’t think anybody thought the split between Yuke’s and Visual Concepts would have such a negative impact on WWE 2K20. The major issues that have popped up are simultaneously cringe worthy and hilarious. There is also an obvious downgrade in graphics. As for the actual gameplay, when it is glitch free, it is not that bad. It is basically the same as ’19, but it does seem like the hit detection is off. Sometime a simple strike will just whiff. Weapon strikes are hard to do unless you hit your opponent in the exact right targeting window. This is all so unfortunate because WWE 2K19 was a marked improvement for the series, and it is very disappointing that WWE 2K20 did not improve in basically any way. I would expect a year-over-year improvement. I also think a lot of WWE fans were expecting an even better game than last year, which is a perfectly reasonable expectation.
At this point, it’s easy to figure out what happened. The split between VC and Yuke’s turned out to be a much, much bigger blow to the game than anyone thought it would be. In a way, this is one of those situations where you can put yourself in VC’s shoes and understand the hand they were dealt. I’m sure they wanted to put out a great game and I’m also sure they are embarrassed about what they did put out at this time. But even with that said, there is no excuse when it comes to a gamer’s expectations — and that’s a perfectly reasonable thought to have. But let’s take a step back from the ledge and try to look at both the positives and negatives of the game, and yes, there are positives to be found.
What I Like
The Actual Gameplay When It Isn’t Glitching
So I know there are still a lot of people who don’t like the gameplay. That’s fine, but the gameplay is almost the same as last year, and when it isn’t glitching you can still have exciting matches. There are still over 200 wrestlers in the game to have those exciting matches with, which makes it all the more fun (albeit, some of those superstars are duplicates). Being able to pit superstars in matches that you want to happen in real life is a lot of fun. For example, one the best matches I played was Andrade vs. Aleister Black; two guys with great striking ability mixed with some solid, innovative wrestling maneuvers.
And this wasn’t just a one-time thing. I’ve had many good matches so far, including a five-star match as Matt Riddle vs. Adam Cole. So the there is fun to be had with this game. Me, personally, I haven’t come across any crazy glitches. They are obviously there, but I guess I have been lucky. The strangest glitch I have come across, and it has happened twice, is the referee deciding not to count while I was pinning someone. He just stood there. I had to break the pin myself to keep the match going. So my advice to anyone who has bought the game, and is upset and regretting it, is to play some one-on-one exhibition matches. That seems to be the place where the glitches happen the least. It’s definitely the multi-man/woman match where we see some of the crazy stuff.
One thing that does seem to be improved from last year is the crowd reactions. I’m hearing louder cheers and louder heckling, along with more chants. Hearing “this is awesome” chants when you are having a great match really helps with the immersion. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like the wrestlers’ theme songs are a little lower in volume this year. It very well could just be me but it’s worth noting. Regardless, they still sound good and the entrances are on-point. Even the commentary is passable for the entrances.
I’ll also touch on the Showcase mode here. The setup is similar to past Showcase modes, so you know what you are getting, but I love the story of the women’s revolution. Playing out all the matches with all the things that really happened in those matches is a good time. There are a total of 15 matches, and it all culminates with the WrestleMania 35 main event with Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey. Overall, it’s a fun mode with good presentation and a faithful recreation of the women’s revolution.
This a tough one. Parts of it are good and parts of it are bad. It’s longer than last year, over 20 hours, and has good voice acting by the wrestlers. You basically play through your entire career in flashbacks. This is spread out to around 100 matches, so it will definitely be a time sink. The story of Red and Tre is fun as you go along crossing off all their hopes and dreams on a list they made in high school. It has its ups and downs, but it’s worth a play through. Some of the stories in it are engaging and fun. I don’t want to spoil any more than what’s already been said, so I won’t get into the finer details of the story.
However, what I will mention is that 2K isn’t overloading you with microtransactions. There really isn’t much in the way of having to use real money to get VC. You use what you earn to unlock new items, such as accessories, outfits, and things of that nature. But some of the stuff is very expensive so you have to choose carefully.
This brings me to my final point and the one thing I like the least about this mode: the skill tree. First off, it’s massive. And it’s based on the style you chose your wrestler to be. The big issue is it doesn’t really give a path to follow. You have to keep unlocking skills before you even know what direction you want to go with your in-ring abilities. In other words, you’re sort of upgrading blind without a compass, which is not ideal. All that being said, the career mode is one of the higher points in the game.
It’s amazing what people can do with this. I never really create wrestlers myself, but the people who do and share them with the community do such a great job with it. They truly are often better than 2K’s own wrestlers. The only issue this year, however, is the fact that the downgraded graphics take a bit away from people’s creations. But other than that, you can pretty much get whatever wrestlers you want, put them into the WWE Universe and create even more dream matches.
On top of that, people have created the new Raw and Smakdown sets to near perfection — or at least as perfect as the game will allow. You will never be short on things to make the game fresh when it comes to wrestlers or arenas.
These are something that you can do as a break from the monotony of MyCareer, or just as a general change of pace. This year there is a Roman Reigns tower with 16 matches where you run through some of his greatest rivalries. There are different match conditions and certain things will happen, like submissions or strikes being much more powerful, along with actually not having a HUD this year. There is also a women’s revolution tower, a legends tower and the 2K Central towers. Overall, they work well and can be a lot of fun — but of course it’s always frustrating to lose. I’d recommend trying them out.
What I Don’t Like
One of the first things you notice when you play the game is the shocking downgrade in graphics. Everything looks low-resolution compared to last year. And some of the wrestlers faces who were already bad last year are even worse this year.
Then there’s the hair. I don’t know what in the world happened to the hair. It was much better last year, but now it looks like something from their Bump In The Night DLC that was supposed to be available on release day but was delayed a week. It’s nightmarish on most wrestlers with long hair. Player models themselves aren’t too bad and look mostly realistic, but the low-res textures and poor faces take away a lot from the game this year. I was literally shocked when I saw the downgrade overall.
We could speculate why this happened this year, but that would be for a whole other article.
I’ll keep this short and sweet because I was barely able to get any online matches in during my time trying. I kept losing my connection to the server while playing through the game. I’m not sure if this was my connection or the game’s, so that has handicapped me from getting much time with it. I will say 2K should get credit for adding online lobbies. I know for people who play mostly online, that is a big thing for them. Either way, during the few matches I was able to play, one crashed and the others were just button spamming for the most part.
This is a stale mode. In theory, it should be great, but in practice it never really gets there. VC decided to upgrade the number of matches on shows from seven to nine, and for pay-per-views that number can jump to 14. They also upgraded the number of titles you can have on each show from six to seven. Lastly, you can have four rivalries now rather than just three. These things are nice, but there still isn’t really anything to get you too deeply immersed into the mode.
Yes, there are new promos and cutscenes for storylines, and they add some merit to the mode, it’s just not that living, breathing mode it should be. If this is as far as 2K and VC can go with this mode, then it might be time to listen to the fans and bring back GM mode. It’s been the most requested feature for years, and honestly I don’t understand why it hasn’t been brought back. People who weren’t even into wrestling would buy the game for that mode. On a personal level, I want story mode back.
There is some fun to be had in this mode, but if you are looking for a fresh new experience, then you can stop looking. Although, I have to say the menus are pretty nice.
I think we were all wondering how the VC/Yuke’s split would impact this year’s game. Admittedly, I didn’t think it was going to impact it that much. Unfortunately, as of release week, it has. The game is full of horrendous and hilarious glitches. In the end, we should not have to endure them to the extent they seem to be happening. In my time with the game, I didn’t see any of the craziest glitches, but I know they have ruined the game for many people. I don’t blame people for being mad. I don’t even blame people for wanting refunds. However, I don’t think all hope is lost with this game. There has been some evidence that the game will see a substantial patch very soon. I cannot confirm this at the time of this writing, but for those who have the game, maybe they should wait it out and see what the developers are able to fix.
If you have not bought the game yet, then my recommendation would be to wait it out. See what VC does as far as patches go, and see if they can fix the major issues. I would imagine the price of the game will drop soon, and you may be able to get it for a steal on Black Friday. By that time, I would think VC would have at least released a couple of major patches that would make the game more enjoyable to play.